Monday, May 08, 2006

H is for How-to Update

from 'sam and the city' on 'why men won't commit'

I was afraid to get married in Australia. It took me long enough to get what little assets I had - I can't afford to lose them. (Literally - at age 42, with ever diminishing chances of employment, I would probably never amass as much again.)
But in China I felt free to marry. Over here, the rules are different. If a girl marries a man, and they part - she isnt' entitled to any assets he had before the marriage. Not the car, not the house, anything. Right away this eliminates a lot of gold diggers (Of course not all girls are gold diggers. But women are not some mythical morally superior race to men. They also have their share of mercenary , merciless monsters.) So I felt safe to get married and I did. If Australian divorce laws were fairer maybe more men would commit. Vitriolic tales of what SHE did or what HE did don't help much; there will always be bad eggs. But I suspect the reason most men don't want to get married in Australia any more is that it just doesn't make financial sense.

Those of you with an asset base that you seek to protect from the screw-thy-neighbour derth of opportunistic people in this world these days, its not that hard to do.
1. shut up already... DONT discuss personal finances. This used to be normal, now people tell you how much they earn and how much their house is worth 5mins after meeting. Nitwits.
2. Use legal protection structures, like a trust. Go see a lawyer and accountant. Best money you will ever spend. Take their advice and FOLLOW it. BTW, a trust or company is the simple ,ost effective way to effectively self determine support obligations. Contracting/consulting/temping is rife these days. Look for a way to make that happen.
3. Accumulate a private nest egg. Call it a fighting fund, a get out of jail free card, a way to survive a rainy day. Whatever. Just do it. Use cash, precious metals/gemstones, collectibles, and keep them stashed away from your place of abode.
4.Hold assets in the name of an impecably trusted 3rd party, like your parents, siblings, close friends of 10-20yrs+.
5. Travel before you settle down. See whatthe world has to offer, in financial terms. There are plenty of ways to sure up your balance sheet thru foreign fiscal centres. If you qualify for dual nationality, then definately get that second passport and of course, shut up about it.
6.there is a whole bunch of other stuff you can do. All of which becomes obvious over time as you look thru open eyes.
Such a strategy is all very unfortunate, l agree. Yet the world is what it is. We all gotta survive it. Folks are lurking about just looking for an excuse to sue and fleece a deep pocket. USA is already a hopelessly predatory and latigious society and its spreading to the land of OZ.
Watch your back and cover your ass(ets). That FREES you up to LOVE someone, for however long it lasts. Nothing is forever, not even life itself. Let go of that delusion, you will be mucj happier for it.

Here's a snapshot of four Sydney men, all my friends:
J. Engaged at 28 to an aussie girl. She gets pregnant to his brother. He swears off girls forever but finally gets married at 42 to an asian girl. Married eight months, very happy.
D. Married to an aussie girl at 21. Discovers a week later that her "pregnancy" was fake to trick him into marriage. Devastated because he thought he was going to be a father. Divorced six months later when he discovers she is cheating on him. Finally remarries at 41 to a Chinese girl. Married now for 2 years, sadly looks like they will break up too.
G. An engineer. Owns his own home, earns 90K a year. Didn't have a girlfriend for more than a decade. (He's a little fat and not handsome.) Finally at 31 met a Phillipines girl over the internet who also turned out to be a engineer! Now married for 9 months, very happy, first child due soon.
M. An electrical engineer. Owns his own house. Two years ago went to China to teach english. Now happily married to a chinese girl.
Whatever side of the debate you may be on, men seem to be voting with their feet.

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